Let me start by saying that I love our two cats. We have one which is extremely mellow and loving. The other one is high strung, curious, and aggravating as anything. I love them both for different reasons. I love them because, just by living, they teach me about meditation. Their presence, however, is not conducive to meditation.
Little Boy is the mellow happy-go-lucky kitty. He is healthy, muscular, and interested in the world. He’s the one most likely to watch the butterfly and contemplate the world around him. Like most cats, he loves sun and lounging about. He can go from active to sleeping in a matter of seconds, just like all cats. And, well, he’s a momma’s boy.
Instead of sitting up for meditation yesterday, I laid down. My feet were hurting from walking around all day, and I wasn’t going to have the soreness in my heels interrupt a perfectly good meditative session. I asked that a 20 minute timer be set, and I was ready.
My brain began to wander almost immediately. Like usual, it started going over business plans and things that I could do to make the world a better place. I started to wrap myself up in minutia before realizing that I should be concentrating on my breathing. On the second try, I was able to breathe for a little longer before the thoughts came back into the picture.
Meditation is a process. While the monks out there get those fabulous superpowers (I think that they should, anyway!), the rest of us are practicing to get a little better each time. I’m hoping that by regular practice of 11 minutes or more a day that I’ll become even more awesome than I think I am already. It’s only breathing, right? Monks: clearing mental cruft for 2500 years.
On the third try, I was working to evict the thoughts of elaborate business plans when I hear a chirpy sort of mew sound and felt something heavy jump on me. The full force and brunt of my Little Boy had landed on me, jarring me. He started kneading, but I was determined to bring myself back to a meditative state. With a brief focus, I came back.
Until the claws. And the biting.
The bites were to remind me that I wasn’t petting a cat’s head. The claws, well… that was from the kneading. It felt like my stomach was under the assault of several needles and that Little Boy was determined to twang each of those needles without remorse. But, I was able to bring myself back to the fore. Meditating once again, I started thinking about how thankful I was for cats.
Cats and meditation don’t mix, but they can teach you the reasons that meditation can be joyous.
Until next time – Emily